Hawaii to Dakar!

Abracadabra’s back from summer break, and they have a surprise for you…

Hawaiian shaved ice with local syrups.

Frosty. Sweet. Bégué.

Follow them on Facebook or check their website for updates on where you can cool off with Granité glacé d’Hawaii. 

PS. Want them on your beach? Just let them know!

50 ideas for kids’ snacks in Dakar

Reposting in honor of the upcoming school rentrée!

We spent the summer in the US and among the many (many!) things that I noticed were different ‘back home’ from life in Dakar was the diversity and ease of snacks for kids. I loved it.

While we don’t have as many single-serving, grab-and-go options here in Senegal, there are some good, healthy treats available – although they may take a bit more planning and effort… and $$.

Here are a few ideas from our kitchen. Please share yours in the comments!

  1. Tortilla + peanut butter
  2. Tortilla + Laughing Cow cheese
  3. Tortilla + hummus
  4. Tortilla + shredded Gouda or mozzarella, heated to make a quesadilla
  5. English muffin + peanut butter + honey
  6. English muffin + Laughing Cow cheese
  7. English muffin + Laughing Cow cheese + jam
  8. English muffin + salami or ham + cheese
  9. Cheese sticks (made by cutting mozzarella from CDA)
  10. Wedges of Laughing Cow cheese
  11. Babybel cheese
  12. Cucumber slices + Laughing Cow cheese
  13. Pear slices + Gouda slices
  14. Banana + peanut butter
  15. Apple slices + peanut butter
  16. Carrot sticks + hummus
  17. Pita triangles + hummus 
  18. Dried apricots
  19. Dried prunes (may have pits)
  20. Dried mango
  21. Dried banana chips
  22. Dried coconut pieces
  23. Raisins 
  24. Sandwich bread + yogurt (either as a dip or spread on the bread)
  25. Hard-boiled egg
  26. Popcorn
  27. Lait caillé, plain or with chopped fruit stirred in
  28. Pretzel sticks
  29. Rice cakes 
  30. Digestive biscuits, plain or with chocolate
  31. Grapes (seedless available)
  32. Clementines or mandarins
  33. Plums
  34. Cherry tomatoes
  35. Melon slices
  36. Tamarind pods (have seeds)
  37. Crêpes, plain or with jam
  38. Frozen fruit smoothies
  39. Frozen yogurt cup + spoon
  40. Frozen seedless grapes
  41. Frozen pineapple chunks
  42. Frozen mango chunks
  43. Frozen peas, thawed (I know. But my kids love them.)
  44. Slice of salami or ham rolled around cheese
  45. Leftover pizza margarita (order an extra just for this reason!)
  46. No sugar added applesauce cups (Hypermarché or CityDia)
  47. Trail mix: peanuts, raisins, dried coconut pieces, cereal…
  48. Veronique’s peanut brittle
  49. Granola bars (ingredients easily available)
  50. Rolled energy bites (oats, peanut butter, dried coconut, cocoa…) 

Snack tips for Dakar

Ziploc baggies are available at the American Food Store, as a variety of US snacks such as Goldfish, raisin boxes, etc… 

Marie’s Kitchen makes and delivers THE BEST tortillas and English muffins. She can also make whole wheat banana bread or apple bread. 


Veronique’s peanut butter and brittle are amazing. And she delivers too. (Following recommendations of Senegalese friends and based on a few experiences, we don’t give our kids peanuts or cashews sold on the street. But we love Veronique’s peanut goodies!)

Shady Shack hummus freezes great. Order in bulk and stock up. 

Use the plastic ‘bissap baggies’ from your local buutik to freeze single servings of fruit. 

Why my family orders from Yum-Yum (a lot!)

  1. We like their pizzas!
  2. Incredibly easy ordering online without having to re-enter all your info each time. 
  3. They use real mozzarella and plenty of it. 
  4. Their thick crust is actually thick and both chewy but light, and not greasy. 
  5. Delivery in under an hour or it’s free. Seriously. Who ever heard of such in Dakar? 
  6. They are actually open at 6pm when my kids want to eat. Everywhere else seems to open after 7:30pm. 
  7. The vegetarian pizza is loaded with real vegetables. Nothing weird like canned corn or kidney beans. (Don’t ask…)
  8. Donuts. They deliver donuts. 
  9. They have a fidelity program to earning free pizza with orders online. Again, super easy and straightforward.  
  10. If they get something wrong – they apologize and fix it right away. 


A Dakarified kitchen

Buying broccoli will break the bank, but have you tried moringa powder from the locally growing Nebeday tree?

Chicken breasts are no longer your cheap and easy go-to, but fillet de lotte is a very versatile cut of local fish at half the price that even non-fish lovers appreciate.

JIF and Skippy sure are creamy, but Veronique’s single-ingredient peanut butter is what dreams are made of at Whole Foods.

Boxed cereal is up to $10 a pop, but for less you can buy homemade granola made with freshly grated coconut and Casamance honey from Marie’s Kitchen.

And you’ll quickly forget smushy Wonder Bread when you try Shady’s fresh whole wheat sandwich loaf or Marie’s homemade English muffins – all without any added preservatives. (For more ideas, see the Dakar Bread Reviews.)

KoolAid made be quick, but bissap tea is way better – and packs a healthy punch! (‘Punch’. You see what I did there?)

You can find Goji berries but for a much more reasonable price, try baobab fruit powder. This superfood hit the scene big time in 2015 and we can get it easily in Dakar.

Hot dogs over a campfire (or just on the stove) are quick comfort food. But the chipolata sausages and saucisses de volaille (chicken sausages) from La Boucherie Nouvelle are much more flavorful and fresh.

This week I have ordered twice from Sooretul (baobab powder, kinkeliba mint tea, also pure shea butter) and was very pleased with their selection, pricing and speed. Several similar sites exist, such as Etounature, which I am trying out today. Delivery ranges from free to 1500cfa max, which is like one-way taxi fare. The people I’ve dealt with have been quick and polite, and most speak English and have easy ways to order online.

If you haven’t hopped on the local product delivery bandwagon yet, it’s time!

Tips (no pun intended) for ordering from small vendors

Part of what makes Dakar great are its many small vendors who deliver their artisanal products to your home for a small fee, which usually winds up being even less than you would pay for the taxi fare to go pick up your order. Woohoo!

Several vendors have come to me recently with concerns and I wanted to pass on this information.

Time & costs
Many of these vendors live in the banlieue of Dakar, which means that a delivery to Almadies, Hann Maristes or Point E costs about 400cfa each way and takes a minimum of two hours round-trip. So the fee covers not just their bus fare but their time as well.

Eating their profits
Most vendors have a standard delivery fee for orders. Please understand that if you forget (or refuse) to pay this fee, the vendor may not feel comfortable reminding you or pushing for it. As a result, the transportation fare comes out of their pocket and eats into their profits – which are often much smaller margins than we realize.

Time & ingredients
Many small vendors buy ingredients only when an order comes in because stocking up in advance is not a good option when you share a kitchen with a large family. So if you order one loaf of bread, they still spend the same amount of time shopping and sourcing ingredients as if you bought five loaves.

SMS for clarity
While not all vendors are text-savvy, for many it is helpful if you send an SMS with your name following your first order placed by phone call. With all the languages and accents floating around, deciphering an unfamiliar name over the phone can be tricky. But when trying to find your home, they may need to know your correct name. And of course, many vendors are happy to receive orders by text message if you prefer that to speaking French over the phone.

Tips are not at all expected…
But of course they are appreciated.

Spread the word, please.
Even more though, if you are pleased with their products and services, they appreciate your recommending them to your friends. Expat clients generally have an expiration date, so these vendors are continually needing to find new customers to replace those who are leaving.

Thanks for taking these points into consideration as we support these hard-working, small business operators. If you aren’t yet up to speed on all the amazing goodness that can be delivered to your door, check out the Lou Bess? Dakar Farmers Market Facebook page for inspiration.

Starbucks coffee in Dakar!

My phone is buzzing, y’all. Protea South African grocery store in Mamelles is now brewing and serving Starbucks coffee! And kind readers of Dakar Eats have sent me text messages, emails and photos to let me know. You guys are awesome. 

From Protea’s Facebook page:

Do you know what goes great with Starbucks? An Americano pastry from Melo Pâtisserie. And now you can get freshly baked Melo pastries, bagels, bretzels, cookies and breads at the American Food Store in Almadies! They have a legit shop right smack in the middle of all that USA goodness. 

I love Dakar. And coffee. And Americanos. 

Kale, chard, cherry tomatoes!

Special! Special!


Taaru Askan Farm just harvested lots of kale (curly, blue and Italian) and swiss chard as well as cherry tomatoes.

Kale and swiss chard: 1,000 cfa/head
Cherry tomatoes: 3,000 cfa/kilo.
All organic!

Pick up is in Mamelles between 4 PM – 8 PM. Right across from the Pharmacy Mamelles (which is on the main route) turn into Mamelles and we are the first right (right before blue building called Low Price) second building on left. Nicole 77 577 1491. Please being bags with you for loading up your treasures!